Lawton_A violent threat locked down all Lawton Public Schools and caused a lot of commotion in the process. The threat came in not long after classes had already begun, and the lockdown lasted all day.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced that they have 20-year-old Joshua Hunter of Anadarko in custody in connection with the threats. He is being charged with making a terrorist hoax.
Lawton Police Chief Ronnie Smith says he got a call from the Anadarko Police Thursday morning from someone who had gotten a threatening phone call. The person said they were going to carry out an act of violence against Lawton Public Schools. "Several individuals were going to go to the schools and cause some violence in the school - shootings and chemicals of some type," says Smith.
The person did not indicate which school, so all Lawton Public Schools were locked down. "We kind of assumed it was one of the high schools, but we did not know,' says Smith. Patrols were added to schools, and two detectives were sent to Anadarko to assist the OSBI and the FBI in finding the caller, and the person who made the threats. "There was no indication why those schools were picked. All we know is this was the statement was made by the individual," he says.
Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley was also notified and feared the threats in Lawton could spill over into the county. "We got in more help and put a unit pretty close to every rural school in the county just for their safety. We're not going to take a chance with the kids something happening.'
An OSBI spokeswoman says Hunter threatened to both chemically bomb, and shoot students at two high schools - one in Lawton, and one in Chickasha. If that plan didn't work, OSBI says he planned to set fire to the Anadarko Police Department. "Whether this is was somebody boasting about wanting to do something or whether or not he was acting in concert with some kind of agenda it's too early to tell," says OSBI PIO Jessica Brown.
OSBI and other agencies arrested Hunter at his home in Anadarko around 3 p.m.. a search of his home did not turn up any physical evidence that he was going to carry out the plan. "Alleged motive was to make a point but yet they don't know what that point was," says Brown.
During the commotion Thursday, there were rumors flying. Now, we can confirm there were no shootings, no bombs found, and no students harmed on any area school campus.